Known as the mother of all Khanquahs in India, the foundation stone for this oldest khanquah was laid in 1180 AD.
This Khanquah is the mother of all Khanquahs in India”, claims Jawaid Iqubal, spokesperson of Khanquah Maner Sharif. The foundation stone of this oldest Khanquah was laid in 1180 AD by Hazrat Imam Mohammad Taj Faquih. He migrated here from Quds-E-Khaleel, Baitul Moqaddas, Palestine.
However, the sleepy, sacred and solitary place is famous for his elder son Hazrat Shaah Kamaluddin Ahmad Yahya Maneri who died in 1291 AD and is better known as Sultan-Ul-Makhdoom or king of religious servants. He was a great Sufi and scholar who propagated Firdusia Silsila or sect in our country.
The most significant parts of the Khanquah are Badi Dargaah and Chhoti Dargaah. Badi Dargaah stands within a walled garden on top of a mound.
It has a small mosque that dates from late thirteenth century, a pillared court built in the fourteenth century and the graves of Hazrat Shaah Kamaluddin Ahmad Yahya Maneri and his disciples as well as descendants. On the other hand, about two hundred meters north from Badi Dargaah is the imposing and well preserved mausoleum of Hazrat Makhdoom Shaah Daulat Maneri, ninth generation of Hazrat Shaah Kamaluddin, built in 1616 AD by his disciple Ibrahim Khan, Mughal governor of Bihar under Saleem Nuruddin Jahangir (1569-1627 AD). Shaah Daulat’s Mazaar or tomb popularly known as Chhoti Dargaah, was built in the high Mughal style using Chunar sandstone and is perhaps the finest medieval monument of Bihar with its elegance of conception, size and remarkable stone ornamentation. The formal gateway to the north of the mausoleum and the three-bay mosque on the west were added some years later by Mughal emperor Jahangir himself.
The most significant parts of the Khanquah are Badi Dargaah and Chhoti Dargaah The shrine is now protected under the ASI. To the south of the Chhoti Dargaah is a vast water tank, or baoli, with ghats, stone embankments and chhatris. A number of medieval history makers visited here for ziyarat. Among them are Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur (1483-1530 AD), the great musician, Mir Tansen (1506-1589 AD) Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana (1556-1627) and Shaah Alam (1643- 1712 AD). The shrines of Maner’s Sufi, which lie outside the town are still an important pilgrimage for devotees across the world and regardless of religion. A heavy stone-block with the mark of Hazrat Kamaluddin’s foot is laid inside a room, located in the Khanquah premises, wherein the Sufi used to worship. According to the spokesperson, if someone lifts the stone-block successfully in maiden attempt up to his/ her chest, muraad or wishes are fulfilled.